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SB-826 Business and professions.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 03/23/2021 09:00 PM
SB826:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 826


Introduced by Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development (Senators Roth (Chair), Archuleta, Bates, Becker, Dodd, Eggman, Hurtado, Jones, Leyva, Melendez, Min, Newman, Ochoa Bogh, and Pan)

March 23, 2021


An act to amend Sections 5659, 7011.4, 7017.3, 7058.5, 7058.6, 7124.6, 7169 of, and to repeal Section 13470.1 of, the Business and Professions Code, relating to business and professions.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 826, as introduced, Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development. Business and professions.
(1) Existing law provides for the licensure and regulation of various professions and vocations by boards within the Department of Consumer Affairs. Existing law provides for the licensure and regulation of landscape architects by the California Architects Board within the department. Existing law requires a licensed landscape architect to sign, date, and seal or stamp using a seal or stamp of the design authorized by the board, containing specified information, all plans, specifications, and other instruments of service that are prepared for others as evidence of the licensee’s responsibility for those documents. Under existing law, a licensee’s failure to comply with those requirements is a ground for disciplinary action.
This bill would prohibit a city, county, special district, joint powers authority, or other local agency from rejecting the filing of the above-described documents on the ground that the plans, specifications, or other instruments of service were prepared by, signed, dated, and sealed or stamped by a licensed landscape architect.
(2) Existing law, the Contractors State License Law, provides for the licensure and regulation of contractors by the Contractors State License Board within the department. Existing law establishes an enforcement division within the board that is required to enforce prohibitions against all forms of unlicensed activity, as specified. Existing law authorizes the board’s enforcement representatives, recently reclassified as special investigators, who are designated by the Director of Consumer Affairs to issue a written notice to appear in court, as specified.
This bill would make nonsubstantive changes to those provisions by instead referring to the above-described enforcement representatives as special investigators and would make additional conforming changes.
Existing law requires the Contractors State License Board to report annually to the Legislature specified statistical information for the prior fiscal year, including, for the board’s Investigation Center closures, the total number of complaints closed after referral for a field investigation per enforcement representative.
This bill would revise the reporting requirement to instead include the total number of complaints closed after referral for a field investigation per investigator and special investigator.
Existing law prohibits a contractor from engaging in asbestos-related work, as specified, without passing an asbestos certification examination. Existing law prohibits the Contractors State License Board from issuing an asbestos certification to a contractor who is not registered with the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, as specified. Under existing law, a contractor who is not certified pursuant to these provisions may bid on and contract to perform a project involving asbestos-related work as long as the asbestos-related work is performed by a contractor who is certified and registered, as specified.
This bill would additionally permit a contractor who holds a C-22 Asbestos Abatement classification to engage in asbestos-related work, as specified, and to perform the asbestos-related work in connection with the above-described project.
Existing law requires a solar energy system company, before completing a sale, financing, or lease of a solar energy system, to provide a consumer with a disclosure document, developed by the board, as specified, that provides a consumer with accurate, clear, and concise information regarding the installation of a solar energy system. Existing law requires the disclosure document to contain specified information, including the consumer’s right to a cooling off period of 3 days, pursuant to provisions outlining the contract requirements for projects requiring a home improvement contract. Under existing law, those provisions generally provide for a 3-, 5-, or 7-day right to cancel the contract, depending on the specific circumstances of the consumer.
This bill would revise the requirement that the disclosure document include information relating to the consumer’s right to a 3-day cooling off period to instead include information relating to the applicable cancellation period, pursuant to the above-described provisions outlining specified contract requirements.
(3) Existing law requires a person selling at retail motor vehicle fuel to the public to post and maintain the maximum lawful selling price, as defined under obsolete federal law, of each type and grade of gasoline.
This bill would repeal that provision.
(4) This bill would make other conforming and nonsubstantive changes, including replacing gendered terms with nongendered terms, updating cross-references, and deleting obsolete provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 5659 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

5659.
 (a) Each person licensed under this chapter shall sign, date, and seal or stamp using a seal or stamp described in this section, all plans, specifications, and other instruments of service therefor, prepared for others as evidence of the person’s responsibility for those documents. Failure to comply with this section constitutes a ground for disciplinary action. Each person licensed under this chapter shall use a seal or stamp of the design authorized by the board, bearing his or her the person’s name, license number, the legend “licensed landscape architect,” the legend “State of California” and a means of providing a signature, the renewal date of the license, and date of signing and sealing or stamping.
(b) A city, county, special district, joint powers authority, or other local agency shall not reject the filing of plans, specifications, or other instruments of service that are signed, dated, and sealed or stamped in accordance with the requirements of subdivision (a) on the ground that the plans, specifications, or other instruments of service were prepared by, signed, dated, and sealed or stamped by a licensed landscape architect.

SEC. 2.

 Section 7011.4 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

7011.4.
 (a) Notwithstanding Section 7011, there is in the Contractors State License Board, a separate enforcement division that shall rigorously enforce this chapter prohibiting all forms of unlicensed activity and shall enforce the obligation to secure the payment of valid and current workers’ compensation insurance in accordance with Section 3700.5 of the Labor Code.
(b) Persons employed as enforcement representatives special investigators of the Contractors State License Board and designated by the Director of Consumer Affairs shall have the authority to issue a written notice to appear in court pursuant to Chapter 5C (commencing with Section 853.5) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code. An employee so designated is not a peace officer and is not entitled to safety member retirement benefits as a result of that designation. They do does not have the power of arrest.
(c) When participating in the activities of the Joint Enforcement Strike Force on the Underground Economy pursuant to Section 329 of the Unemployment Insurance Code, the enforcement division shall have free access to all places of labor.

SEC. 3.

 Section 7017.3 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

7017.3.
 The Contractors State License Board shall report annually to the Legislature, not later than October 1 of each year, the following statistical information for the prior fiscal year. The following data shall be reported on complaints filed with the board against licensed contractors, registered home improvement salespersons, and unlicensed persons acting as licensees or registrants:
(a) The number of complaints received by the board categorized by source, such as public, trade, profession, government agency, or board-initiated, and by type of complaint, such as licensee or nonlicensee.
(b) The number of complaints closed prior to referral for field investigation, categorized by the reason for the closure, such as settled, referred for mandatory arbitration, or referred for voluntary arbitration.
(c) The number of complaints referred for field investigation categorized by the type of complaint, such as licensee or nonlicensee.
(d) The number of complaints closed after referral for field investigation categorized by the reason for the closure, such as settled, referred for mandatory arbitration, or referred for voluntary arbitration.
(e) For the board’s Intake/Mediation Center and the board’s Investigation Center closures, respectively, the total number of complaints closed prior to a field investigation per consumer services representative, and the total number of complaints closed after referral for a field investigation per enforcement representative. investigator and special investigator. Additionally, the board shall report the total number of complaints closed by other board staff during the year.
(f) The number of complaints pending at the end of the fiscal year grouped in 90-day increments, and the percentage of total complaints pending, represented by the number of complaints in each grouping.
(g) The number of citations issued to licensees categorized by the type of citation such as order of correction only or order of correction and fine, and the number of citations issued to licensees that were vacated or withdrawn.
(h) The number of citations issued to nonlicensees and the number of these citations that were vacated or withdrawn.
(i) The number of complaints referred to a local prosecutor for criminal investigation or prosecution, the number of complaints referred to the Attorney General for the filing of an accusation, and the number of complaints referred to both a local prosecutor and the Attorney General, categorized by type of complaint, such as licensee and nonlicensee.
(j) Actions taken by the board, including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) The number of disciplinary actions categorized by type, such as revocations or suspensions, categorized by whether the disciplinary action resulted from an accusation, failure to comply with a citation, or failure to comply with an arbitration award.
(2) The number of accusations dismissed or withdrawn.
(k) For subdivisions (g) and (j), the number of cases containing violations of Sections 7121 and 7121.5, and paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) of Section 7159.5, categorized by section.
(l) The number of interim suspension orders sought, the number of interim suspension orders granted, the number of temporary restraining orders sought, and the number of temporary restraining orders granted.
(m) The amount of cost recovery ordered and the amount collected.
(n) Case aging data, including data for each major stage of the enforcement process, including the following:
(1) The average number of days from the filing of a complaint to its closure by the board’s Intake/Mediation Center prior to the referral for an investigation categorized by the type of complaint, such as licensee or nonlicensee.
(2) The average number of days from the referral of a complaint for an investigation to its closure by the Investigation Center categorized by the type of complaint, such as licensee or nonlicensee.
(3) The average number of days from the filing of a complaint to the referral of the completed investigation to the Attorney General.
(4) The average number of days from the referral of a completed investigation to the Attorney General to the filing of an accusation by the Attorney General.
(5) The average number of days from the filing of an accusation to the first hearing date or date of a stipulated settlement.
(6) The average number of days from the receipt of the Administrative Law Judge’s proposed decision to the registrar’s final decision.

SEC. 4.

 Section 7058.5 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

7058.5.
 (a) No A contractor shall not engage in asbestos-related work, as defined in Section 6501.8 of the Labor Code, that involves 100 square feet or more of surface area of asbestos containing materials, unless the contractor holds a C-22 Asbestos Abatement classification or the qualifier for the license passes an asbestos certification examination. Additional updated asbestos certification examinations may be required based on new health and safety information. The decision on whether to require an updated certification examination shall be made by the Contractors State License Board, in consultation with the Division of Occupational Safety and Health in the Department of Industrial Relations and the Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control in the State Department of Public Health.
No asbestos certification examination shall be required for contractors involved with the installation, maintenance, and repair of asbestos cement pipe or sheets, vinyl asbestos floor materials, or asbestos bituminous or resinous materials.
“Asbestos,” as used in this section, has the same meaning as defined in Section 6501.7 of the Labor Code.
(b) The Contractors State License Board shall make available to all applicants, either on the board’s Internet Web site internet website or, if requested, in hard copy, a booklet containing information relative to handling and disposal of asbestos, together with an open book examination concerning asbestos-related work. All applicants for an initial contractor license shall complete the open book examination and, prior to the issuance of a contractor’s license, submit it to the board electronically or by mail if the applicant elects to use the hard-copy format.

SEC. 5.

 Section 7058.6 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

7058.6.
 (a) The board shall not issue an asbestos certification, as required by Section 7058.5, unless the contractor is registered with the Division of Occupational Safety and Health of the Department of Industrial Relations pursuant to Section 6501.5 of the Labor Code. The board may issue an asbestos certification to a contractor who is not registered, provided the contractor in a written statement acknowledges that he or she does they do not perform asbestos-related work. The board shall notify both the division and the contractor, in writing, of the contractor’s passage of the certification examination, for the purpose of allowing the contractor to satisfy the requirement of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 6501.5 of the Labor Code. The contractor shall register with the division within 90 days from the date the contractor is notified of the passage of the certification examination. The board may require a reexamination if the contractor fails to register within 90 days following issuance of the notification. Applicable test fees shall be paid for any reexamination required under this section.
(b) Any contractor who is certified to engage in asbestos-related work shall present proof of current registration with the division pursuant to Section 6501.5 of the Labor Code upon application for renewal of his or her the contractor’s license, if the contractor engages in asbestos-related work, as defined in Section 6501.8 of the Labor Code.
(c) A contractor who is not certified pursuant to this section may bid on and contract to perform a project involving asbestos-related work as long as the asbestos-related work is performed by a contractor who holds the C-22 Asbestos Abatement classification or is certified and registered pursuant to this section and Section 6501.5 of the Labor Code.
(d) The board shall obtain and periodically update the list of contractors certified to engage in asbestos-related work who are registered pursuant to Section 6501.5 of the Labor Code.

SEC. 6.

 Section 7124.6 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

7124.6.
 (a) The registrar shall make available to members of the public the date, nature, and status of all complaints on file against a licensee that do either of the following:
(1) Have been referred for accusation.
(2) Have been referred for investigation after a determination by board enforcement staff that a probable violation has occurred, and have been reviewed by a supervisor, and regard allegations that if proven would present a risk of harm to the public and would be appropriate for suspension or revocation of the contractor’s license or criminal prosecution.
(b) The board shall create a disclaimer that shall accompany the disclosure of a complaint that shall state that the complaint is an allegation. The disclaimer may also contain any other information the board determines would be relevant to a person evaluating the complaint.
(c) (1) A complaint resolved in favor of the contractor shall not be subject to disclosure.
(2) A complaint resolved by issuance of a letter of admonishment pursuant to Section 7099.2 7099.9 shall not be deemed resolved in favor of the contractor for the purposes of this section. A letter of admonishment issued to a licensee shall be disclosed for a period of one year from the date described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of Section 7099.2. of service described in subdivision (c) of Section 7099.9.
(d) Except as described in subdivision (e), the registrar shall make available to members of the public the date, nature, and disposition of all legal actions.
(e) Disclosure of legal actions shall be limited as follows:
(1) (A) Citations shall be disclosed from the date of issuance and for five years after the date of compliance if no additional disciplinary actions have been filed against the licensee during the five-year period. If additional disciplinary actions were filed against the licensee during the five-year period, all disciplinary actions shall be disclosed for as long as the most recent disciplinary action is subject to disclosure under this section. At the end of the specified time period, those citations shall no longer be disclosed.
(B) Any disclosure pursuant to this paragraph shall also appear on the license record of any other license that includes a qualifier that is listed as one of the members of personnel of record of the license that was issued the citation.
(C) The disclosure described in subparagraph (B) shall be for the period of disclosure of the citation.
(2) Accusations that result in suspension, stayed suspension, or stayed revocation of the contractor’s license shall be disclosed from the date the accusation is filed and for seven years after the accusation has been settled, including the terms and conditions of probation if no additional disciplinary actions have been filed against the licensee during the seven-year period. If additional disciplinary actions were filed against the licensee during the seven-year period, all disciplinary actions shall be posted for as long as the most recent disciplinary action is subject to disclosure under this section. At the end of the specified time period, those accusations shall no longer be disclosed.
(3) All revocations that are not stayed shall be disclosed indefinitely from the effective date of the revocation.

SEC. 7.

 Section 7169 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

7169.
 (a) The board, in collaboration with the Public Utilities Commission, shall develop and make available a “solar energy system disclosure document” or documents that provide a consumer, at a minimum, accurate, clear, and concise information regarding the installation of a solar energy system, total costs of installation, anticipated savings, the assumptions and inputs used to estimate the savings, and the implications of various financing options.
(b) On or before July 1, 2018, the board, in collaboration with the Public Utilities Commission, shall develop, and make available on its internet website the disclosure document described in subdivision (a) that a solar energy system company shall provide to a consumer prior to completion of a sale, financing, or lease of a solar energy system. The “solar energy system disclosure document” shall be printed on the front page or cover page of every solar energy contract. The “solar energy system disclosure document” shall be printed in boldface 16-point type and include the following types of primary information:
(1) The total cost and payments for the system, including financing costs.
(2) Information on how and to whom customers may provide complaints.
(3) The consumer’s right to a cooling off period of three days the applicable cancellation period pursuant to Section 7159 of the Business and Professions Code.
(c) At the board’s discretion, other types of supporting information the board and the commission deem appropriate or useful in furthering the directive described in subdivision (a) may be included in the solar energy disclosure document following the front page or cover page, including, but not limited to:
(1) The amounts and sources of financing obtained.
(2) The calculations used by the home improvement salesperson to determine how many panels the homeowner needs to install.
(3) The calculations used by the home improvement salesperson to determine how much energy the panels will generate.
(4) Any additional monthly fees the homeowner’s electric company may bill, any turn-on charges, and any fees added for the use of an internet monitoring system of the panels or inverters.
(5) The terms and conditions of any guaranteed rebate.
(6) The final contract price, without the inclusion of possible rebates.
(7) The solar energy system company’s contractor’s license number.
(8) The impacts of solar energy system installations not performed to code.
(9) Types of solar energy system malfunctions.
(10) Information about the difference between a solar energy system lease and a solar energy system purchase.
(11) The impacts that the financing options, lease agreement terms, or contract terms will have on the sale of the consumer’s home, including any balloon payments or solar energy system relocation that may be required if the contract is not assigned to the new owner of the home.
(12) A calculator that calculates performance of solar projects to provide solar customers the solar power system’s projected output, which may include an expected performance-based buy-down calculator.
(d) A contract for sale, financing, or lease of a solar energy system and the solar energy system disclosure document shall be written in the same language as was principally used in the oral sales presentation made to the consumer or the print or digital marketing material given to the consumer.
(e) For solar energy systems utilizing Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, the Financing Estimate and Disclosure form required by subdivision (b) of Section 5898.17 of the Streets and Highways Code shall satisfy the requirements of this section with respect to the financing contract only, but not, however, with respect to the underlying contract for installation of the solar energy system.
(f) The board shall post the PACE Financing Estimate and Disclosure form required by subdivision (b) of Section 5898.17 of the Streets and Highways Code on its internet website.
(g) For purposes of this section, “solar energy system” means a solar energy device to be installed on a residential building that has the primary purpose of providing for the collection and distribution of solar energy for the generation of electricity, that produces at least one kW, and not more than five MW, alternating current rated peak electricity, and that meets or exceeds the eligibility criteria established pursuant to Section 25782 of the Public Resources Code.
(h) This section does not apply to a solar energy system that is installed as a standard feature on new construction.

SEC. 8.

 Section 13470.1 of the Business and Professions Code is repealed.
13470.1.

(a)No person shall sell at retail to the general public any motor vehicle fuel from any place of business in this state unless such person shall post and maintain in legible form the maximum lawful selling price of each type and grade of gasoline. The maximum lawful selling price shall be posted on each pump used to dispense gasoline at retail outlets in numbers not less than 12 inch high facing each direction from which the pumps are generally viewed by customers. The posting of the actual selling price is not considered to be the posting of the maximum lawful selling price as required by this paragraph. Whenever an adjustment is made to the maximum lawful selling price, each retail seller must post the new adjusted maximum lawful selling price, and remove the prior posted price.

(b)For the purposes of this section, “maximum lawful selling price” means the maximum lawful selling price as defined under the Emergency Petroleum Allocation Act, 15 USC 751 et seq., and any regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.

(c)Enforcement by the Division of Measurement Standards and each county sealer of weights and measures may consist of referring complaints and information regarding possible violations to the appropriate federal agency.